Salute Resistance to the G-20
One Humanity, One Struggle
As peoples worldwide contend with the deepening economic crisis, the major imperialist powers will attempt to use the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh to impose their dictate on the world. They are being met with broad resistance from a wide variety of organizations, demanding the right to jobs, housing, education, healthcare and protection for mother earth. People are taking their stand against war in Iraq and Afghanistan and calling for another world, where the rights of the peoples here and worldwide are placed at the center of economic and social development. Everywhere the demand is to put meeting all human needs, as human rights, to the fore. Money for Human Needs, Not for War! is a common slogan, as are Jobs are a Right! Housing is a Right! The U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization salutes all those joining in the resistance and contributing to building up the peoples' organized forces. We applaud all those taking up the necessity for sustained resistance to achieve another world. We join the peoples worldwide fighting as One Humanity with One Struggle for Our Rights!
President Barack Obama will be hosting the G-20 Summit September 24-25. He said, “The Pittsburgh Summit is an important opportunity to continue the hard work that we have done in confronting the global economic crisis, and renewing prosperity for our people. Together, we will review the progress we have made, assess what more needs to be done, and discuss what we can do together to lay the groundwork for balanced and sustainable economic growth.” He said laying such a groundwork will be a key part of the G-20 agenda.
Obama made these statements at a time when unemployment is the highest it has been in decades, at almost 10 percent officially, and still rising. Poverty levels are also increasing. Hundreds of billions more have been taken from the public treasury for war and paying the rich, while the brutal attacks on housing, education and healthcare continue. Nowhere can it be said that the imperialists have renewed “prosperity for our people.” What can be said is that the imperialist system is unsustainable and cannot meet the rights of the people. The rich, in their crisis, will continue to demand even more of the public treasury.
Resistance at the G-20 is taking a firm stand against this wrecking in the U.S. and worldwide and advancing the fight for a world that eliminates the rich and their unjust wars and exploitation and puts the rights of the peoples center-stage. Fighting for empowerment of the people and for an anti-war government are key for the peoples’ agenda.
One Humanity, One Struggle!
Activists from Pittsburgh, across the country and around the globe will converge to protest the destructive policies of the G-20 – meeting in Pittsburgh September 24-25.
The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors represents the world’s economic leaders, intimately connected to the most powerful multi-national corporations that dominate the global economy. Their neo-liberal policies have squandered billions on war, plunged economies into deep recessions, worsened social, economic and political inequality, and polluted the earth.
We believe a better world is possible. We anticipate involvement and support from like-minded people and organizations across the country for projected actions from September 19-25:
People’s Summit – September 19, 21-22
A partnership of educators and social justice groups is organizing a Peoples’ Summit to discuss global problems and seek solutions informed by genuine democracy and human dignity. This will bring together informed speakers and panels to discuss problems we face and possible solutions, and interactive workshop discussions.
Peoples’ March on the G-20 Friday, September 25
Money for Human Needs, Not for War and Occupations – Environmental Justice for the Earth and its Inhabitant – Jobs and Health Care for All
Peoples’ March to the G-20:
12:00pm – Opening Rally at the corner of Fifth and Craft Avenues in Oakland, then a march down Fifth Avenue to the City-County Building downtown.
2:00pm – Rally at the City-County Building, then a march down Grant St. to the Federal Building
3:00pm – Rally at the Federal Building
3:30pm – March down 10th St. to a block from the G-20 and then conclude the march.
Contact: (412) 422-7435 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Thomas Merton Center AWC, 5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 • www.thomasmertoncenter.org/g20action.htm
The People’s Uprising! Power from Below, Not Impositions from Above
Community Solutions, Not Corporate Institutions
This September 24-25 the G-20 will be meeting in Pittsburgh. Finance ministers, central bank governors, presidents and lobbyists from the world’s largest economies will come together to discuss and plan out the international financial system.
Historically, the G-20 and similar institutions have been instruments of economic destruction, helping to promote and construct a world system built on “free” trade agreements such as NAFTA, financial consolidation and corporate control, privatization and deregulation, and the idea that profit and growth are more important than people and ecological sustainability.
On Thursday, September 24, Pittsburghers opposed to the G-20 will hold a mass march in recognition that the summit is much more than a simple meeting. The summit is a big deal because governments, global financial institutions and corporations are putting out vast sums of money, prestige and media to make it important. This huge media-driven spectacle is intended to lull the public into believing that everything is fine, that the world should continue on the same basic path it has been on, and that it is perfectly reasonable for a few people and companies to hold vastly disproportionate power and decision-making rights over everyone else.
This Mass March on the G-20 Summit is intended to be a creation of space in which diverse forms of resistance can occur. This means it is an opportunity to show the synergy and diversity of our struggles, not an attempt to impose one message or theme on everyone. Anyone dissatisfied with the state of our society has a reason to resist the G-20. Far from a liability we see that as a strength of this global movement for justice.
In such an interconnected world, the many problems people have result from the pro-corporate, pro-profit worldview imposed on us by institutions such as the G-20. Rising student tuition and unequal access to education are connected to union busting and privatization at home, and to the expansion of sweatshops in the global south. The decline in real wages and loss of manufacturing here are tied to "free" trade agreements that force farmers off their land, workers into low paying jobs and students out of school. Police brutality in Pittsburgh and occupation in Iraq are part of the larger militarization of our world. Environmental justice concerns in rural Pennsylvania and West Virginia, just as with health care reform, cannot be addressed without tackling the problem of corporate influence and the power of money in our political system. It is clear that the only real change we can believe in requires systemic solutions.
At this march there will be student feeder marches and worker contingents, numerous musical groups, and, of course, efforts to disrupt the summit. The march is unpermitted and intended to allow people the space and freedom to oppose the G-20 how they see fit. The rest is up to you!
At this time in history, with the very architects of the global financial collapse gathering in our city we need events that start from the premise that it is people who matter, not permits. Our decision to not ask for permission from the system we protest has much to do with our belief that our future lies in community-based solutions, in power from below, in putting justice before the law, and in a rejection of the G-20 as a legitimate body for global decision-making. We build, not beg.
On September 24 we invite you to take to the streets with all of your love and your anger, your determination and your defiance, your rejection and your vision. (There will be a spokescouncil September 23, 7pm at the Convergence Center, 4374 Murray Ave.)
Meet: Thursday, September 24 at 2:30pm
Arsenal Park (40th Street & Penn Ave.) in Lawrenceville.
A Global Week of Solidarity
Yes to Jobs & Human Needs! No to War & Wall Street Greed!
In September the eyes of the world will be on Pittsburgh, where the G-20 countries will meet to consider what to do about the biggest global economic crisis since the 1930s. The heads of governments, finance ministers and central bankers that will be in Pittsburgh for the summit hear the concerns of bankers and corporate executives all the time. They need to listen to the voices of the millions of people who have lost their jobs and their homes because of the crisis. It is now clear that the stimulus legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in March has done little to stop the loss of jobs. There is no recovery for the unemployed, the underemployed and the poor and things are only getting worse. We are asking you to help make the Global Week of Solidarity with the Unemployed from September 19 through September 26, the week of the
Sunday, September 20, 2pm – Rally & March for a Real Jobs Program.
Monumental Baptist Church, Soho Street & Wylie Avenue, “The Hill,” Pittsburgh.
The United Steelworkers Union and United Electrical Workers have endorsed and are mobilizing for the march. These are two large unions with a long and rich history with international headquarters in Pittsburgh.
We are organizing Marches, Protests and Events before and during the G-20 Summit addressing demands such as: Bring the Troops Home from Iraq & Afghanistan Now! & Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, world-renown political prisoner and activist.
Marches and Direct Action
The Peoples' March September 25
9/25, 12pm, 5th & Craft in Oakland
The Thomas Merton Center’s Anti-War Committee is taking the lead for the coordinating a 9/25 permitted march & rally to demand, “Money for Human needs, Not for War!.” It has been endorsed by more than 50 local and national organizations. The march will start at 5th & Craft in Oakland and end Downtown. They are inviting groups to form contingents and feeder marches.
Press Contact: Pete Shell, email@example.com, 412-422-7435
Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project September 24 & 25
Mobilization Support & Direct action on 9/24, 2:30pm & 9/25
The Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project is a space where folks can come together and collaborate on ways to resist the G-20 Summit. Our goals are to lay the groundwork, provide an information clearing house, create & distribute publicity and educational materials, build momentum for the mobilization, engage in local, regional and national outreach, provide housing and develop an action framework. The action framework includes direct action September 24 & 25. We seek to help coordinate efforts among like-minded people in order to create a just and sustainable world. We have established a convergence center at 4374 Murray Avenue.
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-918-6320
Rally for Clean Energy Jobs, September 23
United Steelworkers, State Senator Jim Ferlo, Allegheny County Labor Council, Repower America, Blue-Green Alliance and the Alliance for Climate Protection are hosting an event featuring special guest speakers and entertainment at Point State Park at 6pm.
Press Contact: Mikhail Pappas, email@example.com
HIV/AIDS September 22
9/22, 2pm: Funeral procession and march
ACT UP Philadelphia, Azania Heritage, Black Radical Congress of Pittsburgh, Health GAP, Housing Works, NYC AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), Roots of Promise (a Thomas Merton Center project), and others are organizing a funeral procession and march to "Tell the G-20 to Fight AIDS," to encourage G-20 countries keep their promises to dedicate resources to fighting HIV/AIDS and save lives.
Press Contact Kaytee Riek, firstname.lastname@example.org, 267-334-6984
Bail Out the People September 20
9/20, 2pm: March for Jobs & Tent City
Caravans of unemployed workers are expected to populate a tent city encampment at the Monumental Baptist Church from 9/20 through 9/25 and a March for Jobs is planned for 9/20 from the Hill to Downtown.
Press Contact: Karen Black, March4Jobs@gmail.com, 412-780-3813
Procession on 9/20, 2pm, and more
A collection of spiritual, religious, and other groups & individuals have come together to organize a procession on Sunday, 9/20 that will start on the North Side at 2pm and end near the Convention Center. They are also organizing educational activities and prayer in the days leading up to the G20 Summit as well as an event on 9/21, the UN's International Day of Peace.
Press Contact: Wanda Guthrie, email@example.com, 412-596-0066
Meetings, Films, Music
People’s Voices September 23-25
9/23, 3-6pm; 9/24, 3:30-6pm, 6:30-8:30pm; 9/25, 9-11:30a
People’s Voices: Challenging the G-20's Agenda of Corporate Globalization
UE, Pittsburgh United/Northside United, Roots of Promise, G6 Billion, Pa. AFSC, and Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies, in connection with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, ART/HSA and others have organized four events between Wednesday, Sept. 23 and Friday, Sept. 25., including discussion circles leading to a peoples tribunal, a panel with leaders from Latin America, an exchange with G-20 representatives from the Global South and speakers including Joseph Stiglitz, Leo Gerard and many others. Also contact, Jen England at 412-513-9091 and Jen Soriano at 415-572-7154.
Press Contact: Robin Alexander, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-471-8919
International Peace, Justice, & Empowerment Summit,
9/22-23 location TBA
The National Council For Urban Peace, Justice & Empowerment is organizing a response to the G20 Summit. The purpose is to elevate discussion of the G20 beyond the narrow aspects of the health of financial markets, to addressing problems such as poverty, housing, employment, education, climate change, urban infrastructure, health care, economic development and other issues pertinent to the survival of disadvantaged peoples as part of the long-term answer to the viability of countries.
Press Contact: T Rashad Byrdsong, TRByrdsong@ceapittsburgh.org, 412-371-3689 x14
The Peoples' Summit September 19, 21, 22
9/19, 9am-6pm, 7-10pm; 9/21-22, 7pm-10pm
A partnership of educators and advocacy groups concerned with peace and social justice is organizing a summit to discuss global problems and possible solutions that are informed by the basic principles of democracy and human rights, which will feature diverse speakers and panels, as well as organizing interactive workshop discussions. 9/19 at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland for workshops and a cultural program at McConomy Auditorium on Carnegie Mellon University's campus, 9/21 at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side, 9/22 at the Twentieth Century Club.
Press Contact: Paul LeBlanc, email@example.com, 412-760-9716
3 Rivers Climate Convergence: United for Environmental Justice, September 20-25
9/20-9/25 Climate Camp & 9/21-9/23 Coal Protests & Screenings
Local and national groups and individuals are collaborating on a climate justice camp & sustainable-living fair, protests & creative actions around the International Coal Conference that directly precedes the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, screenings & live presentations w/environmental justice films, and showcasing the North American Climate Justice Tour featuring climate change refugees.
Press Contact: David Meieran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-216-9821
Women's Coalition, September 20-25
9/20-25 Tent City — Feeder march for 9/25 permitted march
Pittsburgh chapters of the CodePink, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Iraq Veterans Against the War and other groups are forming a coalition for "Women's Tent City: Real People, Real Needs" representing refugees at a location TBA and a feeder march & contingent for the 9/25 march.
Press Contact: Francine Porter, email@example.com, 412-389-3216
G-20: Twenty Super Shorts, September 23
Amnesty International is holding screenings and discussions as part of its monthly film series on the fourth Wednesday of every month at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty, at 7pm.
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
G-20 Film & Forum Series, September 2, 9, 16, 23
The Thomas Merton Center will be hosting a free film series at Your Inner Vagabond (4130 Butler Street, Lawrenceville). Films will be shown at 8:00 pm on Wednesdays, and all screenings are free to the public. The films will be followed by open conversation about a variety of economic, social, and political issues as they relate to the upcoming G-20 Summit. Films include Life + Debt (9/2), The Corporation (9/9), Why We Fight (9/16), and I.O.U.S.A. (9/23)
Press Contact: Leah Samuel, email@example.com, 412-361-3022
Music Camp September 18-26
The Music Camp welcomes musicians, artists and friends who need a place where to stay overnight in Pittsburgh from September 18th through the 26th so that they can participate in the many educational and projected activities and events organized by various local and national anti-G20 organizations.
Press Contact: Ceci Wheeler, rsv.clef at gmail.com
Student G-20 and Int'l Coal Conference Resistance
Students and youth from Pittsburgh and the surrounding region are organizing a weeklong contingent to present alternatives and rise up for a more sustainable and democratic society. There will be a concert organized by Students for a Democratic Society on 9/24 featuring Anti-Flag, State Radio and Ryan Harvey at Club Zoo.
Press Contact: Alex Lotorto, firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-269-9589
Thomas Merton Center
The Thomas Merton Center, a local hub for peace and justice organizing, is helping to facilitate G20 organizing across different sectors. Working groups include housing, march & rally planning, G20media, “legalities” and others.
Press Contact: Leah Samuel, email@example.com, 412-361-3022
Pittsburgh Organizing Group
Pittsburgh Organizing Group's Tactical Training Initiative is organizing workshops throughout August and September.
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
G-∞ Radio Project
Pittsburgh Indymedia and Rustbelt Radio will provide a 24/7 live web-streaming & radio broadcast during the week of the G20 summit. A forum for the voices of the people who are affected by the G20 policies, but whose stories go largely untold. Together with Pittsburgh's Indymedia's website, the project will provide up-to-the-minute, people-based coverage of G20-related events.
Press Contact: email@example.com
March 4 Freedom
March 4 Freedom is an alliance of individuals and organizations representing people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations throughout the North America and Europe who have joined together to Stop Genocide and Dictatorship in Ethiopia/Africa.
American Civil Liberties Union
Legal Observation; Advice & possible representation on First Amendment issues. The ACLU-PA is working to ensure that the right to protest is respected at the G-20. Besides providing legal counsel and representing several demonstration organizers (including TMC) in court challenges, the ACLU provides legal observers to monitor the demonstrations to ensure that everyone's constitutional rights are respected. The ACLU has set up a helpline for the demonstrations at 412-562-5015.
Press Contact: Vic Walzcak, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-681-7736
For latest information contact Courtney Smith, email@example.com
Marchers Demand “Free Speech Not Free Trade”
Supporters of free speech marched from City Council to the AFL-CIO conference in Pittsburgh September 15, where President Obama spoke in front of labor union members. In a demonstration outside the Convention Center (1004 Fort Duquesne Blvd), the free speech supporters called on President Obama to change the environment of intimidation that the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service are creating through new ordinances that violate the right to oppose those in power, as well as the delay in the issuance of permits. In the climate that is being created by these federal agencies, peaceful demonstrators exercising their basic rights are treated like terrorists.
Demonstrators will urge Obama, who is the leader ultimately accountable for this militarized, security state in Pittsburgh, to direct the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service to stop the harmful charade of ordinances and permit delays and defend our basic freedoms. This anti-democratic environment harms free speech. Ironically, the AFL-CIO, where President Obama will speak today, was a victim of the same tactics during the anti-FTAA demonstrations in Miami in 2003.
The march September 15 defended the right to jobs as Obama discussed G20-style globalization policies. Workers know all too well that free trade and globalization have caused job loss, inequality, and ecological damage here and worldwide.
“The people of Pittsburgh have been harmed by the G20. G20-style policies such as free trade have dried up our steel industry, shipped manufacturing jobs overseas, dug us further into the climate change hole, damaged our environment, and given more and more money to banks and corporations rather than the people,” said Casey Capitolo, co-convener of the Three Rivers Climate Convergence and resident of East Liberty, Pittsburgh. “The city should defend the freedoms of Pittsburghers who are voicing their legitimate concerns about the G-20. The G-20 has only made life harder for us.”
While the G-20 opted to shovel bailout money into the coffers of big banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), everyday Pittsburghers, like most Americans and peoples worldwide were denied funds. From March 2008 to March 2009, Pittsburgh has lost over 28,000 jobs, 2.5 percent of its overall employment.
Various groups and organizations have been fighting several weeks with Pittsburgh city council to secure permits for outdoor demonstrations, and get City Council members to vote no on new ordinances. The Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service are the ones meeting with city officials behind closed doors to strong-arm them into enacting these policies, which violate rights that are underwritten by the U.S. Constitution.
People are demonstrating for a better world, without closed-door dealings like the G-20 Summit and free from their harmful globalization. Join in!
Environmental advocates hoping to influence G-20 climate commitments are surprised to find that Pittsburgh is showcasing its green recovery while stalling permits and planning for a major crackdown on free speech activities during the summit.
The meeting is the G-20 leaders’ last chance to make progress on a climate change before the expected deal at the December UN talks in Copenhagen. President Obama has asked finance ministers to bring climate finance proposals, but negotiations are gridlocked. The stakes are high, and climate advocates intend to be part of the conversation by encouraging the G-20 to be ambitious in creating a just and sustainable future.
And yet, the efforts of climate activists have thus far been thwarted and their first amendment rights denied along with other groups organizing free speech activities n Pittsburgh. Many groups, including the Three Rivers Climate Convergence and the Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice are still awaiting permits to hold peaceful marches and demonstrations.
The Pittsburgh City Council is considering legislation that would criminalize costumes, props, and signs and authorize police to arrest protesters based on suspected “intent” to disobey police orders. Parts of downtown will be heavily militarized under the $18 million security plan, severely limiting those hoping to be part of the democratic process and have their voices heard.
Pittsburgh is not only failing to encourage good environmental decisions at the international level during the G-20. The city’s own air quality has repeatedly ranked worst in the nation. Southwestern Pennsylvania is also home to massive coal mining that destroys homes, pollutes water sources, and fractures communities.
As G-20 leaders prepare for Pittsburgh, Climate activists and other organizers remain intent on making their voices heard. “We are focused on making clear our demand for a global economy that is sustainable for all people and the planet,” said a local organizer.
Pittsburgh Residents Call on City Council to Defend Freedoms During G20 Summit
Pittsburgh residents opposed to the G-20 are testified at a special City Council hearing to call on the city to defend their freedom of speech, expression, and assembly. At the hearing, heard concerns about two proposed ordinances that ban participants at rallies from certain forms of expression. These strict ordinances are proposed in order to disallow protest to the G-20, the Group of 20 nations meeting in Pittsburgh September 24-25, which has recently resolved to increase funding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and promote bailouts for banks. At the summit they plan to discuss the global economic crisis and climate change.
These ordinances violate basic freedoms that allow Pittsburghers, like all Americans, to come together to demand democracy, basic fairness, and change. Residents are submitting a pro-democracy resolution to allow council members to show their support for Constitutional freedoms.
Residents also are expressing concern about the City Council’s decision yesterday to approve nearly $20 million dollars for the G20 Summit.
In addition, residents representing organizations planning G-20 demonstrations continue to call upon the city government to approve permit applications to allow them to demonstrate. They say that the city should not be shut down, allowing the summit to take place in a veritable ghost town.
“The people of Pittsburgh have been harmed by the G-20. G20-style policies have dried up our steel industry, shipped manufacturing jobs overseas, dug us further into the climate change hole, damaged our environment, and given more and more money to banks and corporations rather than the people,” said Casey Capitolo, co-convener of the Three Rivers Climate Convergence and resident of East Liberty, Pittsburgh. “The city should defend the freedoms of Pittsburghers who are voicing their legitimate objections to the G-2 0.”
(Note: A federal judge ruled September 17 that there is to be no camping anywhere; no to Thomas Merton Center using 7th street bridge (near the G-20 site) for their ending rally September 25, the march is permitted; CodePink and environmentalists Three Rivers Climate Convergence will be able to use State Park downtown from September 20-23.)
A few weeks to go and we like where things are at. Yes, there are, and will be, the usual attempts to intimidate, the government psychological operations, the further unfolding of the Miami Model, anything they can think up legal or not to divert attention from organizing against the G-20 and confronting those institutions and relations that make our lives unlivable. But locals are making a serious effort for this mobilization and the pieces have one by one fallen into place. Now is the time to get involved in organizing efforts.
Confirmed Closures/Rescheduled Events During The Summit: West Mifflin Area School District, City Charter High School, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, The First Lutheran Church, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University Downtown, Point Park University, The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Penguins, and a whole slew of small businesses and large corporate businesses. The Pittsburgh school board will discuss whether to close down ALL public schools in the district.
Perhaps most importantly for those who may be coming from out of town Amtrak is suspending service in Pittsburgh starting Sept 24 through the end of the summit.
Expected Security Perimeter
Based on publicly announced info we expect the perimeter to extend as a two-staged bubble outside the David Lawrence Convention Center from 6th Ave to 16th St, and from the river to Liberty Ave. During the Thursday events we believe they’ll attempt a complete shutdown of Liberty Ave and the 16th Street Bridge.
Permits Being Denied For Point State Park
Several local and national organizations want to use Point State Park for a concert-festival on September 23, and a couple separate camps throughout the week. This location is the only one downtown that would be able to fit the 8,000-10,000 they’re hoping their largest event will attract. The city has denied the permit — get this — because the police have applied for a permit to use the park. Those already excluding locals from much of downtown are ensuring there’s literally nowhere to gather. This is of course enraging, but not surprising. The state does this so that our movement’s time and focus is taken up with weeks of back and forth in media and court fights. This is valuable time we could otherwise be using to focus on the G-20. Just one more reason a lot of folks don’t bother with getting permits.
City Considering Banning PVC/Chain/Wood
We’re a bit embarrassed to even have to report it, but Pittsburgh is considering one of those anti-protester laws to deal with the scourge of PVC and wood. In the past these kinds of ordinances have unfortunately had a significant impact on those who want to create larger visuals to get their message out. As one commentator put it, “so I may not be able to march with a flag if it’s on a piece of wood over a certain diameter but as far as the laws in PA are concerned it’ll still be a-ok to go walk around outside the summit perimeter carrying a rifle with a flag on the end of it.” Yep. It’s pretty silly if you think about it. Supposedly the ordinance is aimed at those individuals who plan to break the law by locking down. The hope is, apparently, that those individuals will now be dissuaded by the fact that possession of the instruments they’d planned to use to break the law would, also, be illegal.
In truth these laws are less about stopping lockdowns than they are about creating pretexts for raids and otherwise illegal searches as part of a larger pattern of police repression. This is why it’s pointless to look to the law for guidance. If they think your rally will be too effective they will deny the permit, if they think your civil disobedience could actually make a difference they will try to outlaw even planning it. Look to your own heart, ask yourself what kind of response you think the G-20 deserves, make plans, and make it happen.
Cops Never Learn
The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit after University of Pittsburgh police arrested a man for using his cell phone to record police actions. The man had been charged with violating Pennsylvania wiretapping laws because he declined to get officers’ permission. Here is hoping the likely payday, which ultimately will come from students’ tuition, is put to good use. www.post-gazette.com/pg/09226/990776-53.stm
We Couldn’t Think of a Witty Headline For This Idiotic Story
The media is salivating for things to kick off. Tired of waiting, KDKA radio took it to the next level recently when they published a story under the headline “G-20 Protesters Start Early”, noting that someone had written “Destroy the G-20” on a downtown sign with what looks (to us, from the picture they posted) like a sharpie. Oh, the humanity. Local Mayor Ravenstahl so helpfully commented “it was bound to happen.” We hear next week this crack investigative team will be venturing into local bars to report the latest news on who to call and who broke up with whom from the restroom walls. www.kdkaradio.com/G20-protesters-start-early/4911836
The sharpie story was intense, but you wanted more? You got it. KDKA “reporter” Marty Griffin has really brought his game to the next level, producing what may come to be taught in journalism classes around the country as a quintessential example of what not to do if you wish to retain any pretense of objectivity or personal dignity. Using an “anonymous” police source as cover, he reported claims that G-20 protesters are stockpiling feces, are responsible for a piece of graffiti reading “we the people”, and are camping in a park. http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Police to Get Money, Some Cops, and Protest Opportunities
Much has been made over the last few months over the cities efforts to bring in outside police and how they will pay for it. Direct summit costs to the city are estimated at $19 million, and an agreement has been reached that our bankrupt state and federal government will cover all but $2.7 million of that. The city and county will apparently be left to shoulder the rest. Attempts to secure outside police have been substantial though less successful. Out of the 100 departments approached, we have info on the decisions 15 have made. Some supporters have mentioned that with thousands of violent police coming from other nearby areas, perhaps those same nearby areas would be also be appropriate venues for demonstrations.
Invitation from Rhythms of Resistance
Rhythms of Resistance or just RoR is a network of percussion bands that play at demonstrations and direct actions that fall within the broad definition of anti-capitalist. Since RoR London was formed in 2000, various sister-bands throughout Europe (and even the rest of the world) have been spawned, not always sharing the same name, but mostly the same ideology.
Some locals are initiating a similar effort for the G-20. They are “looking to start up a loud, mobile, high energy percussion group playing Brazilian and Caribbean carnival rhythms. Our goal is to provide a festive atmosphere and some energetic background music to social change events around Pittsburgh.” Musical experience is preferred, but not necessary. Email email@example.com or call 412.926.0778 for info.” Rock on RoR!
Updates from the PGRP
Housing: To volunteer housing space, or to request housing space if you’re coming from out of town, go to the housing page at resistg20.org. The earlier you get your request in the easier it will be for those folks to plan. If you are a local please consider opening up your place to folks from out of town.
Convergence Space! The lease has been signed on a large convergence center in Pittsburgh’s East End. It is open at
Outreach: Local outreach is going to print with a new 4-page newspaper on the G-20. The 4,000 copies will be available for use in door-to-door outreach and for general distribution. The paper covers what the G-20 is and the connection between local issues and the G-20 alongside a schedule of events.
Action Days: Calls to action have been released for Tuesday and Friday. They are available online at resistg20.org. Calls for Wednesday and Thursday actions are forthcoming.
As part of organizing to unite all in action, Pittsburgh organizers are working utilizing the following guidelines for actions:
Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of action but are committed to treating each other with respect.
We realize that debates and honest criticisms are necessary for political clarification and growth in our movements. But we also realize that our detractors will work to divide by inflaming and magnifying our tactical, strategic, personal, and political disagreements. For the purposes of political clarity, and mutual respect we will speak to our own political motivations and tactical choices and allow other groups and individuals to speak on their own behalf. We reject all forms of redbaiting, violence-baiting, and fear-mongering; and efforts to foster unnecessary divisions among our movements.
As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics. We will commit to respecting each other’s organizing space and the tone and tactics they wish to utilize in that space.
We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others. We oppose proposals designed to cage protests into high-restricted “free speech zones.”
We will work to promote a sense of respect for our shared community, our neighbors, and particularly poor and working class people in our community and their personal property.
In solidarity, the undersigned:
Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project
Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee
Students for a Democratic Society
Self-Described Anarchist Collective
Three Rivers Climate Convergence: United for Environmental Justice
Raging Grannies - Pittsburgh
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom - Pittsburgh
Iraq Vets Against the War - Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Organizing Group
G-20 Not Meeting April Promises to Poorest Countries
Today the Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights groups, and development agencies working for justice for the world’s poor, issued a report titled “Falling Short: A Progress Report on the G-20’s Commitments to the World’s Poorest.” The report calls on G-20 leaders to meet development commitments made at their April summit and to announce bolder steps to address the economic crisis faced by the world’s poorest countries at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh September 24-25. The Summit that will be hosted by President Obama, with leaders from countries that represent 85 percent of the world’s economy.
“The economic crisis is crushing the world’s poorest countries, but the G-20 is falling short,” said Neil Watkins, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “The G-20 must keep their promises and adopt even bolder measures to address the impact of the crisis on the poor. G-20 proposals have focused primarily on new loans to the developing world, which will only create more debt, leaving the governments of low income countries to divert resources from health care, clean water, and education to make exorbitant interest payments. Without a change in course, we are on the verge of a new debt crisis in the developing world.”
The report finds that the G-20 is off track on its pledges to strengthen financial supervision and regulation, to provide additional aid to low income countries for social protection and to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and is not meeting its pledge to increase support to low income countries through the international financial institutions.
The report further finds that, despite the urgent need in the poorest countries, only $23.5 billion of the $50 billion promised by the G-20 to low income countries has been delivered to date, with further resources unlikely to come quickly without greater political will.
The report specifically notes that only 0.14% of the resources committed by the G-20 to low income countries are in the form of debt relief, while 99.86% of this assistance is debt-creating, highlighting the potential for a new debt crisis among low income countries.
Some of the report’s key policy recommendations for the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh include:
• Ensure that promises to fully deliver $50 billion in assistance to the poorest are delivered without further delay, without harmful conditions, and on grant terms.
• Institute a two-year moratorium on debt service payments by low income countries, and commit to deliver expanded debt cancellation to all poor countries whose debt levels currently prevent them from meeting their people’s basic needs and which struggle under a burden of odious and illegitimate debt.
• Insist upon far-reaching reforms in IMF and World Bank economic policy conditionality before delivering any further funding to these institutions.
• Take ambitious steps help finance the fight against climate change, which has disproportionate impacts on the poorest countries, by providing new, additional, predictable and adequate financial resources for adaptation, enhanced mitigation actions, technology sharing, and capacity building in developing countries.
The Progress report and detailed analysis is available at www.jubileeusa.org.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has written to the leaders of the so-called Group of 20 (G20) industrialized nations to cement their commitment to help the world’s most vulnerable who are bearing the brunt of the global economic turmoil.
In his letter to the leaders ahead of their gathering next week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States, Mr. Ban exhorted them to deliver on the $1.1 trillion pledge – especially the $50 million earmarked for the poorest nations – made in London earlier this year. He also called on them to honor their official development assistance (ODA) commitments made in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005, of $155 billion by next year, with over one-third of that allotted for Africa.
Action must be accelerated to achieve the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said the letter. While strides have been made in areas where global investments have been scaled up, including AIDS and tuberculosis, progress is lagging in education, maternal health, smallholder agriculture and basic infrastructure.
With more than 100 million people expected to drop below the poverty line this year, Ban emphasized that we “simply must amplify the voices of the vulnerable and ensure that the world follows up on its pledges.” The Secretary-General said that despite talk of recovery from the international financial crisis, which has marked its first anniversary, “we are still not out of the deep woods – and this crisis is layered upon the food crisis and the pandemic crisis.”
Ban also urged progress on the fight against climate change through the setting up of a fair financing mechanism to provide $250 billion annually by 2020, in addition to ODA. Investment in green technologies is vital in pulling the world out of the economic crisis, he stressed, as is governance to manage this new finance stream, which must be directed to adaptation and mitigations at the national level.
Venues that will be used by world leaders and others during the Group of 20 global economic summit happening in Pittsburgh on September 24 and 25.
DAVID L. LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER: The riverfront property where 19 world leaders and representatives of the European Union will meet to discuss the global economic crisis. The White House has said President Barack Obama chose Pittsburgh to host the G-20 summit partly because of its "green" convention center.
PHIPPS CONSERVATORY: Obama chose Pittsburgh's botanical gardens as the venue to host a welcoming event for the world leaders and their spouses. The conservatory was also chosen because of its environmentally friendly buildings and commitment to sustainability. An official welcoming and working dinner will be held at the conservatory on Sept. 24 for summit participants.
ROSEMONT FARM: On Sept. 24, first lady Michelle Obama will host a meal for the leaders' spouses at this tranquil, suburban farm owned by Teresa Heinz, the wife of Sen. John Kerry and the widow of Pennsylvania Sen. John Heinz, heir to the ketchup fortune.
CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL: Led by Michelle Obama, the leaders' spouses, will attend a performance Sept. 25 at Pittsburgh's downtown performing arts school, which is within walking distance from the convention center.
THE ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM: After the school play, Michelle Obama will take the spouses to The Andy Warhol Museum directly across the Allegheny River. There, they will tour one of the largest Warhol collections and, if they're lucky, may get to sift through one of the iconic artist's "time capsules," a collection of hundreds of cardboard boxes filled with nearly everything that came across Warhol's desk.
POINT STATE PARK: Recently renovated as part of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary celebrations, a federal court ordered the city to allow protesters to set up a tent city in Point State Park to reflect the lives of war refugees. The park and its fountain, located at the confluence of the city's three rivers, are one of Pittsburgh's most iconic sites.
OAKLAND/STRIP DISTRICT: Oakland is a neighborhood that is home to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, and the Phipps Conservatory. Adjacent to downtown, Oakland has a vibrant, trendy feel enhanced by the student crowd that largely fills its streets. On the other side of downtown is the Strip District, one of the city's most eclectic neighborhoods, packed with authentic mom-and-pop restaurants, shops and bakeries. The city plans to house thousands of protesters in a parking lot between the Strip and downtown, the closest sanctioned site to the convention center where the summit is being held.
The G-20 countries include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United States and a representative of the European Union. Representatives of the imperialist financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also participate.
Source: White House, venue officials, venue Web sites.